Mexico – Indigenous people’s rights

Indigenous people’s rights in Chiapas, Mexico

Mexico is facing multiple challenges arising from deep-rooted problems in almost all areas of life — political, economic, social, environmental, legal, institutional. In a number of places, there is much insecurity and violence. Civil society has insistently demanded change of the government but with disappointing results.

Among the more serious crises in the country is the injustice inflicted on Mexico’s indigenous peoples. Ongoing violations of their rights as well as more recent changes to constitutional laws render their position more perilous than ever. Land and other natural resources are being taken away, communal and cultural rights are ignored, and scant attention is given to their educational, economic and social needs.

Chiapas is a particularly poor and insecure state within Mexico. CJI’s partners there have strong reasons to believe that the repression and violation of individual and collective human rights will worsen over the next several years. Chiapas also has the largest indigenous population in the country. Indigenous peoples are resisting the violations of their rights through a number of local, regional and national movements. They are also trying to improve their lives through alternative social and economic organizations. Jesuits in Mexico are committed to accompanying indigenous peoples and helping to build capacity for their success.

CJI supports Jesuit work in Chiapas. A major component of the project with indigenous people is the training of human rights promoters in 20 parishes and 8 municipalities in the Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas. Other components include research, advocacy, peace building and the promotion of good governance. A manual and other educational materials have been developed. Workshops and training covering themes such as megaprojects, human trafficking, cultural diversity, migration, indigenous peoples and human rights are ongoing. Peaceful demonstrations are organized and radio messages delivered. Meetings with government, business, church, community and other groups are also held to further promote the interests and rights of the people.

To help support this project for indigenous human rights in Chiapas, please